Growing Our Voice is born out of the courageous hope to cultivate connection and compassion in our lives. My advocacy began at young age, but became most obvious when I began my career as an educator. During these years, I developed a critical understanding of the importance relationships play in teaching, learning and leading. I further explored this understanding when writing my dissertation on teacher-student and supervisor-teacher relationships. This research ignited an interest in supporting the well-being (professionally and personally) of teachers.
Soon after graduating in May 2015 with my Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.), I realized that I stopped nurturing my inner life, which negatively affected my well-being and that of my family’s well-being. I felt bereft of a joyful existence, crippled by stress and a multitude of negative emotions. This was not how I wanted to live my life nor what I wanted for my family. Fortunately, I found the courage to study and practice mindfulness mediation and compassion. Nurturing my inner life, deepening my awareness of my relationship to experience, has been both challenging and liberating. It is a daily practice that supports a meaningful existence, one that I want for my children, for other parents and for the broader community.
My journey has inspired me to seek out ways to build awareness of mindfulness and compassion practices, and the benefits of meditation. This has led to creating this site, what I hope is a true integration of my knowledge as an educator, a parent and a mindfulness and compassion cultivation practitioner.
I continue to grow as a practitioner and teacher. In December 2018, I became a certified Compassion Educator through the Compassion Institute. In January 2021, I became a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher through the two year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP) with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. In addition to my certifications, I have completed additional course work in various areas such as mindful communication and trauma-sensitive mindfulness. I continue to deepen my knowledge and skills through workshops, retreats and courses. I also maintain a daily meditation practice.
I wish for this site to be a source of inspiration, and a place for reflection, exploration and connection. I welcome you to join me on this path of awakening the wisdom of our hearts and embracing our courage to connect compassionately and mindfully.
Wendy Heckert, Ed.D.
Certified Compassion Educator & Mindfulness Meditation Teacher